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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2005 :  20:24:44  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message
My apologies if any of the following has been asked -- and still greater apologies if it cannot be answered -- but I was curious:

What's been your experience adapting an actual campaign -- or characters from an actual campaign -- into fiction? I ask this in the context of the KoMD trilogy, of course, which I was under the impression involves some actual PCs and (perhaps) actual gameplay.

Can you tell us which of the characters in said trilogy were PCs? Perhaps a few cautious (or flagrant, as well) remarks on the personality / quirks of the players vs. their characters?

And my lady THO, were you involved in any of the adventures the Lord of the Realms will be covering?

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2005 :  00:13:11  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. I bring Ed’s reply to webmanus in some matters of Daggerdale:



Hi, Manuel. Daggerdale has been fought over so much in recent years, and so depopulated in the process, that there’s plenty of good farmland to go around, and right now land is owned more or less by occupying it. There’s no central taxation service (though there are, for example, copper-piece-per-transaction taxes levied in Dagger Falls), nor any surviving, coherent Book of Laws. Indeed, no taxes are payable just for owning farmland, and the Morns do indeed live off the eggs, poultry, livestock, and food crops their own lands yield.
And yes, a family that is farming land would indeed own it. Randal Morn has never been a feudal lord, and neither were his predecessors (some tried to ASSUME rights they did not in law or tradition have, but their rules didn’t last long, and can be viewed more or less as a “might makes right” approach). So neither the lord nor a local officer of the lord “owns” or “controls” anyone’s land but their own (if they need to put a road through an area, they’ll use their might-of-arms to force the landowner to agree, and pay that landowner compensation - - though a Zhentarim “lord,” of course, would never pay compensation, and would probably just kill anyone who disagreed with the road-building, or defied his will in any other way).
Of course a family could rent out land to tenant farmers, and your safety (due to location) argument is, as you say, the only reason for tenants to accept rather than just taking possession of a vacant farm and clearing the overgrowth.
I don’t see any roving tax collectors yet (though there certainly were in the past, and the Zhents DID levy monthly taxes, mainly paid in food), but I do see Randal’s men riding in patrols around Daggerdale, and the locals being obligated to feed, water, and shelter them and their mounts (with no coins changing hands at all, and Randal’s men pitching in to help with tasks beyond the farmers, like bending their backs to lift a wagon while a new axle is fitted to it).
Feel free to change these details to suit your own campaign, of course. I hope this helps.



So saith Ed. Who’s charging ahead on creating still more Realmslore for us all.
love,
THO
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webmanus
Learned Scribe

Sweden
338 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2005 :  00:47:28  Show Profile  Visit webmanus's Homepage  Click to see webmanus's MSN Messenger address Send webmanus a Private Message
Thanks Ed!

It really helps me with my development of Daggerdale. And, thanks THO. Now, where is my pitchfork ...

Link to my homepage: http://user.tninet.se/~bsu242v/
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Arlenion
Seeker

36 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2005 :  04:10:42  Show Profile  Visit Arlenion's Homepage Send Arlenion a Private Message
Could you share a glimpse of the sort of intrigues that were in your campaign at one specific instant or another? I am more curious about the number of such plots and the organizations involved in them rather than the details of the plots.
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2005 :  18:01:02  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Arlenion

Could you share a glimpse of the sort of intrigues that were in your campaign at one specific instant or another? I am more curious about the number of such plots and the organizations involved in them rather than the details of the plots.



Arlenion, you might want to download Master Kuje's files to read such glimpses and stories from Ed's campaigns that he and Lady THO have shared with us here in Candlekeep

"What am I doing today? Ask me tomorrow - I can be sure of giving you the right answer then."
-- Askarran of Selgaunt, Master Sage, speaking to a curious merchant, Year of the Helm
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Asgetrion
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1564 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2005 :  18:45:41  Show Profile  Visit Asgetrion's Homepage Send Asgetrion a Private Message
Well met again, and my thanks to thee, O Lady Hooded One, for thy invaluable work here in Candlekeep!

My thanks once again to Ed for his replies, and seemingly endless patience with pestering requests for Realmslore! Please tell him my thanks also for the marvelous novel 'Silverfall', which I consider to be perhaps the *best* Realms novel ever written! I assumed it would be a collection of loosely-linked short stories about the everyday life of the Chosen of Mystra, but instead it is a very well-written novel consisting of separate "short story chapters".

The dialogue and the characters seem very realistic, and some of the dialogue even seems to touch certain issues that Ed has been asked about here in Candlekeep (though I do not know if this was intentional). There are "fairy-tale-like" elements in the book (in the best meaning of that concept).
In fact, I can almost hear an enthustiatic apprentice asking Elminster (whom else?) to "tell a tale about a typical, sinister and ambitious conspiracy in the Realms, about those that spin these webs of intrigue, and also about those that try to unravel and undo these vile plots!"

This novel is simply amazing - I do not want to spoil anything here, but I really felt pity for poor Master Labraster

Ed, once again you have caused me sleepless nights and a zombie-like state of animation during the days, which will last until I have finally finished it (although I hope that day would never come).

I am sure that even long-time Realms fans may find new perspectives into many issues in the Realms within the pages of this book (such as the definition of "evil", or "sanity"). Ed describes very well what several centuries of wielding Silver Fire and serving the Goddess of Magic has done to the minds of the Chosen...

My fellow scribes, if you have not read this book yet, go get your own copy from Tethtoril and read it! And may Lady Shar devour my old and weary soul if I have uttered a single lie to you about this fascinating and intriguing tome!

"What am I doing today? Ask me tomorrow - I can be sure of giving you the right answer then."
-- Askarran of Selgaunt, Master Sage, speaking to a curious merchant, Year of the Helm
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2005 :  20:41:47  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi, all! It’s housekeeping time again, in which Ed will quickly deal with (or defer) a number of queries, in no particular order:



To Jamallo Kreen, re. Jergal: He certainly “has assured his continued survival by being flexible enough to let would-be usurpers have his portfolio and then stepping in when they "die,"” as you quite correctly observe, but as to what he is, and his motives: woops, bright, shiny new NDA.

(snip)
So saith Ed. Who’ll return next time with more meaty Realmslore.
love,
THO





Well met, all!


A "bright, shiny new NDA"? As opposed to an old shiny NDA? My curiosity is piqued. I shall rouse me in my throne of L.A. to learn THAT bit of lore!

Thanks to ye for your gracious answers to my many queries. They are most timely. Thanks also for reminding me of the long-forgotten quote from Spider Robinson. It is of a piece with the (unattributed) quote in Lucifer's Hammer: Sooner beard the tiger in his den than the scholar among his books.

I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.


Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 08 Aug 2005 23:08:00
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2005 :  23:21:28  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Awww, Wooly, you edited out the stirring library stuff before Ed (the librarian, remember?) could see it! (Sniff)
I'm desolated . . .
love?
THO
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
29784 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2005 :  00:03:39  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Awww, Wooly, you edited out the stirring library stuff before Ed (the librarian, remember?) could see it! (Sniff)
I'm desolated . . .
love?
THO



I do apologize, my lady, but I wasn't comfortable with the political commentary inherent in the original statement. I didn't want to see Ed's thread devolve into a debate on real-world politics.

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Editor and scribe for The Candlekeep Compendium

I am the Giant Space Hamster of Ill Omen!
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2005 :  02:01:29  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello again, all. Wooly: I understand. Sigh. How politically correct we’ve all become.
Now, Ed seeks to kill two birds with one stone, as the old saying goes, by tackling Erik Scott de Bie’s questions {“What's been your experience adapting an actual campaign -- or characters from an actual campaign -- into fiction? I ask this in the context of the KoMD trilogy, of course, which I was under the impression involves some actual PCs and (perhaps) actual gameplay. Can you tell us which of the characters in said trilogy were PCs? Perhaps a few cautious (or flagrant, as well) remarks on the personality / quirks of the players vs. their characters?”} and Arlenion’s question “Could you share a glimpse of the sort of intrigues that were in your campaign at one specific instant or another? I am more curious about the number of such plots and the organizations involved in them rather than the details of the plots.”
Erik, quickly: yes this has all been asked before, but that’s fine, and yes I was involved in some of the adventures Ed will be fictionally covering in the Knights trilogy, HOWEVER: see his reply below.
Ed speaks:



I’ve leaped on these questions because answering them requires no research or Realmslore creation, because they are interesting topics, and because I don’t want to leave them unaddressed as I fall silent for a few days (travelling).
First, the simplest to answer questions: the Knight trilogy involves, yes, actual PCs (all of the “core” Knights were PCs except Islif, Illistyl, and Mourngrym, and all of my players “borrowed” those three from time to time, to roleplay while their own characters were elsewhere, or recovering, and so on). All of my players are superb roleplayers and adequate to great actors, so although they tended to craft characters they liked, and that therefore shared some of their real-life personality traits, Rathan wasn’t and isn’t a copy or caricature of Andrew Dewar (for example). In some cases (Torm), the character is perhaps what the player would LOVE to be, in a world with no consequences, but doesn’t quite really dare to be. But it’s always a mistake to equate the Knights characters with the personalities of those who play them (they’re related, but not identical).
However, the Knights trilogy doesn’t fictionalize actual gameplay. The reasons for this have to do with the sort of players I have, and therefore the nature of play in the “home” Realms campaign, versus the needs of fiction (to have a book small enough you can lift it, that tells a coherent narrative that arrives at some sort of resolution, involving few enough characters that the editor won’t go foaming mad even before readers start to groan).
Arlenion’s question hits at the heart of why I can’t just take almost thirty years of roleplaying with the same characters (or even just selected highlights) and boil it down into three books: the subplots. By my deliberate design and my players’ preferences, play in the Realms has always featured three things:
1. Characters having the freedom to “do their own things.” That’s why I put together this large and very detailed setting: so I really could allow them the freedom to choose to stroll north today, instead of returning to that mystery in the alley off south that they stumbled onto yesterday. My players (of different character classes, remember, with different interests and obligations - - MY priests are under constant pressure from their bosses in the church hierarchy to do this, that, and the other) were continuously pursuing their own little “pet” side-projects (notably investments and trade negotiations) as well as adventuring as the Knights.
2. The Realms Unfolding: I kept a constant flow of “current events” (and rumors) flowing past my players’ ears, to make the Realms seem alive, to hand the players a rich selection of adventuring and roleplaying opportunities,.and to continually introduce new NPCs (that “cast of thousands” so many of my editors loved to hate).
3. Subplots and intrigues. I love them, and so do my players. Mysteries large and small, little secrets and big ones, clever and sinister behind-the-scenes villains (if * I * was writing Sherlock Holmes, his landlady would eventually turn out to be a sweetly manipulative crime-boss, hiding behind his notoriety and proximity), power groups galore . . . I tried to keep my players so busy that their characters would have a hard time finding enough time to go off adventuring, and there were seldom less than a dozen subplots “in play” on their platters at any one time.
For example . . .



So saith Ed. I’ve cut him off here so as not to run into the post-size-limit, and I’ll provide his example tomorrow. Erik, as a Realms writer, you can see the tough time you’d have trying to sneak a story past Phil with more than, say, three subplots at most. Realmsplay involving we Knights doesn’t form a straight-ahead, linear “and then this happened, and then this, so we” narrative, but rather goes “all over the place,” simultaneously. I love it; I’ve never encountered a campaign setting half as rich. That’s why experiencing Ed as a DM at a convention, running a single session, is nothing like Ed as our DM: as a player at a con, usually sharing the table with strangers, you just can’t enjoy the “real life” feeling we enjoy.
love to all,
THO
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Faraer
Great Reader

3291 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2005 :  02:41:46  Show Profile  Visit Faraer's Homepage Send Faraer a Private Message
Hi!

When is "Moonrise over Myth Drannor" set?

How famous is Elminster of Shadowdale in Faerûn?

Edited by - Faraer on 09 Aug 2005 02:44:49
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 09 Aug 2005 :  03:58:49  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hello again, all. Wooly: I understand. Sigh. How politically correct we’ve all become.
Now, Ed seeks to kill two birds with one stone, as the old saying goes, by tackling Erik Scott de Bie’s questions . . . and Arlenion’s question “Could you share a glimpse of the sort of intrigues that were in your campaign at one specific instant or another? I am more curious about the number of such plots and the organizations involved in them rather than the details of the plots.”
Erik, quickly: yes this has all been asked before, but that’s fine, and yes I was involved in some of the adventures Ed will be fictionally covering in the Knights trilogy, HOWEVER: see his reply below.
Ed speaks:
...



Many thanks!

In my own campaigns, the players and their characters have been not at ALL alike. The nicest, kindest chaps end up as blood-thirsty destroyers, and the most shy, conservative type becomes an outspoken, flirt-with-everyone rake.

Such is the nature of the game in general, and the Realms in particular (with its versatility, per my comments in the General Discussion forum), I've found: it's rather liberating -- no matter what kind of character you want to play, you can make him/her come alive.

Cheers!

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Arlenion
Seeker

36 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2005 :  00:54:46  Show Profile  Visit Arlenion's Homepage Send Arlenion a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One


2. The Realms Unfolding: I kept a constant flow of “current events” (and rumors) flowing past my players’ ears, to make the Realms seem alive, to hand the players a rich selection of adventuring and roleplaying opportunities,.and to continually introduce new NPCs (that “cast of thousands” so many of my editors loved to hate).



Thanks for answering me. My previous campaigns have all been about combat more than role-playing and since I am starting a new campaign I hope to change that.
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Kuje
Great Reader

USA
7915 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2005 :  01:09:33  Show Profile  Send Kuje an AOL message  Click to see Kuje's MSN Messenger address  Send Kuje a Yahoo! Message Send Kuje a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Arlenion

quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One


2. The Realms Unfolding: I kept a constant flow of “current events” (and rumors) flowing past my players’ ears, to make the Realms seem alive, to hand the players a rich selection of adventuring and roleplaying opportunities,.and to continually introduce new NPCs (that “cast of thousands” so many of my editors loved to hate).



Thanks for answering me. My previous campaigns have all been about combat more than role-playing and since I am starting a new campaign I hope to change that.



Wooly's and my article for the Compendium might be of some use to you. You could use those as current events. :)

For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet and excite you... Books are full of the things that you don't get in real life - wonderful, lyrical language, for instance, right off the bat. - Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird

My Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/kuje

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium

Edited by - Kuje on 10 Aug 2005 01:10:23
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2005 :  03:17:33  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hi again, fellow scribes. Here’s the second half of Ed’s reply (the subplots examples), and words from him to Asgetrion, too.
As the Bearded Creator mentioned in his last post, he’s going to fall silent for a few days (though I’m guessing he’ll sneak one more reply to me, on the proverbial way out the door), travelling, and then of course promptly fall silent again for GenCon Indy (followed swiftly by the Canadian National Gaming Expo in Toronto). Ah, well, we can’t have him ALL to ourselves!
Here’s Ed:



Asgetrion, I’m glad you liked SILVERFALL. It was great to read your post and “hear” your sheer delight. That book was another of my “Eddie runs out of room to wind things up properly” learning process experiments, and I fretted at the editorial “baton-passing” restriction, too, that kept me having to hand the narrative on to the next Sister and not let the earlier ones stay in the picture - - but boy, did I have FUN writing it, and it sounds like you had fun reading it, too! (Lady Shar notwithstanding! Which reminds me: I was once invited to a convention in Hannover, and there met a local prostitute who wore black ankle-length cloaks, called herself “Lady Shar,” and was a big Realms fan who wanted to, ahem, “thank” me; too bad the tattered remnants of gentlemanship yet cling to me).
Ahem again.

[THO note: Aren’t you going to tell them all about the Ladies of Loviatar, at GenCon? THAT raised even my eyebrows, and when two of them kissed each other while whipping each other I thought that cop was going to, um, have a moment of extreme personal release! No? You’re not? Well, then, I’ll just have to go ahead and post the second bit of your answer from yesterday, that I so cruelly chopped off. ]



For example, to select a time at random, let’s pick a particular play session not long after the Knights are settled in Shadowdale, and the senior Knights have foisted the lordship onto Mourngrym. (Cormyr hasn’t yet sent Shaerl Rowanmantle to Shadowdale.) A quick glance at my notes tells me the following subplots were unfolding at the beginning of that play session (which began with my players roleplaying a Knights’ council-of-war, in which they sat down together to decide what they wanted to do):

Three envoys to the Tower of Ashaba:
1. Merchant coster from Hillsfar wants free land to establish waystables with warehousing (walled compound), pointing out employment and tax income Shadowdale will get; Maalthiir intends to use it for spying, of course, subverting local youths and oldsters with drugs (but doesn’t know one of his envoys is a Zhent agent).
2. Envoy from the Church of Torm (sent from the temple in Tantras), asking for free dale land and perpetual immunity from taxes, in return for establishing a large temple on the granted land, and agreeing to provide therein shelter (with granaries), arms, and training in vigilance and war to all folk of Shadowdale, and establishing temple patrols to watch for attacking forces approaching Shadowdale. Will further offer to provide caravans with armed escorts from Shadowdale to next settlement on every route, if Mourngrym seems unwilling.
3. Envoy from the Crown of Cormyr to Mourngrym, asking permission to establish an official trade factor (agent) of Cormyr in the dale (office and residence), entirely at Cormyr’s own expense (staffed in part by War Wizards; envoys also War Wizards). Legitimate offer, but trading office would also become local spying base for Cormyr; envoys making same offer to Mistledale at same time.

Lanseril seeking senior druid dwelling somewhere nigh Semberholme, for guidance, training, and to share information about spreading monsters.

Individual merchants coming to town to buy some of the empty cottages of folk killed in the last Zhent attack, and establish themselves away from the feuds and expense of Sembia; are really sponsored spies of ambitious Sembian merchants seeking to establish way-caches for drugs, stolen goods, and kidnapped rivals well outside Sembia yet within reach of Sembia.
One of these (Imbur Taerazalan) works for the Gemfingers merchant cabal of Ordulin, who intend to covertly conquer the Dales one by one, establishing their own “shadow territories” that can be “sold off” to Sembia (surrendered to become officially part of Sembia, in return for large cash payments).

Jhessail trying to decipher the coded pages of the Dark Tome without Elminster discovering she has it (assisted by Islif and the Harper mage Aundas [a War Wizard spy], who are trying to keep her alive; some of the runes are magical traps, others are gates to strongholds all across the Realms, now disused and dangerous monster- and undead-roamed “dungeons”).

The cabal of local Shadowdale merchants running the mill (since the Knights uncovered and slew the Zhent agents who formerly ran it) have begun to die, one after another, under mysterious circumstances. The Knights are trying to protect them and discover who’s doing the killings. The Zhents, of course, but: by means of magic from afar? Agents hidden in Shadowdale or [planted years ago] among the folk of Shadowdale, attacking the merchants by stealth, when they can catch one alone? Or is one of the cabal of merchants doing the killings? [yes!] If so, just to gain control of the mill himself, or become the senior and dominant member if Mounrgrym “appoints” replacement merchants? [no] Or is the killer an undercover Zhent agent? [yes]

The mysterious “noble lady of Tethyr” who’s just arrived in town with large entourage and tried to rent the disused farm north of Fox Ridge for “a tenday of relaxation” (and came to Mourngrym’s attention because of her steward’s attempts to arrange this accommodation, and so got invited to evenfeast at the Tower so he could give her the once-over) isn’t a noble lady of Tethyr at all, but rather a noblewoman of Waterdeep AND a former flame of Mourngrym’s, sent here by her parents to learn if Mourngrym is the Amcathra who knows where the best friend of his youth [this lady’s oldest brother] hid the family magic before he died (he died in Mourngrym’s arms, while off on an “adventure”). She’ll try to seduce Mourngrym, and if she likes it in Shadowdale, ride the situation for all she’s worth, sending the information she gains back to her kin via her steward.

The visiting dancer Florin sought to seduce so as to get alone to (with Jhessail’s help) mind-ream, thinking her a Zhent agent, who turned out instead to be a doppelganger or some other sort of tentacled shapechanger (ere she got away), has openly returned to the dale with her troupe. But is this the “real” dancer, having nothing to do with the shapechanger? [yes] Or the shapechanger back again, for a rematch? [no: the shapechanger has already returned to Shadowdale as short-coin farmworker, and is watching the Knights from afar, awaiting the right chance to slay and impersonate a Tower guard. Shapechanger is an agent for Tharltan, the wizard of Saerloon who wants to take over Shadowdale, and has orders to slay and impersonate Mourngrym, and then begin manipulating the Knights, singly, into situations where they can be killed]. This “real” dancer is a spy for a Witch of Rashemen, and will flee the Knights in a suspicious manner (fearing they’ll discover her secret), perhaps leading them into the clutches of the Fang.

The Fang [band of six assassins who always work together] are lurking in Shadowdale, posing as painters and roofers (slate shingles; they do good work, are pricing themselves very cheaply, and so are winning work up and down the dale roads, fixing too-long-neglected cottages) as they await a good chance to fulfill their commission from Rauthur of the Cult of the Dragon to kill Florin Falconhand. [Remember: all magically protected against farscrying and thought-reading.] One of them will ask audience with Mourngrym, boldly trying to get a commission to work on the Tower of Ashaba - - really to see as much as he can of its layout, even if work offer rejected. Will try to befriend chambermaids, just to try to get an eventual ‘in’ at the Tower.

Jonczer of Scardale will make another appeal to Shadowdale to use the Knights to establish regular ‘swift and silent’ trade runs between the two dales. He wants to have a way to spirit his wealth out of the dale without trying to carry it himself, to have a reason for entry into the Tower of Ashaba, and (eventually) to frame the Knights for the murders he’s going to try to accomplish, to weaken all outlander agents in Scardale except the Zhents.

Phaerlarra [fat old Tower maidservant, suggested by Jhaele when the Knights first arrived] will make another play for Doust, hinting that she’s of noble birth (the Troehands are actually descended from two bastard royal heirs who married commoners, though a female Huntsilver did marry into the family much later) and her “family secrets” could enrich all of the Knights, if they learn everything. She knows she really has nothing to offer, but the royal connection (though not its precise nature) has always been a deep family secret, and she’d love to somehow get the Knights to track down the truth. Why can’t they see her true worth?

Merith’s investments in Sembia are turning sour - - and someone is trying to trace him through them! He’ll get the second “bad news” note this week, from a Harper telling him it was found after Dathjathra was found murdered, and her murderer was interrupted (but managed to escape) while busily copying out all of her missives! Who’s trying to track down elves investing in Sembian trade, and why?

Jhessail’s tracing spell will find just one thing out of all that was stolen from Jhaele’s office: stashed in a hollow tree at the east end of Fox Ridge is a single sheet of her parchment, rolled into a bone tube and with fresh writing on it (Jhaele’s stolen ink, but very recent writing - - and the ink and quills are gone, along with everything else, carried far beyond the range of Jhessail’s spell, well out of the dale), listing sixteen villagers [“the Mirrorman list”]. Why are these Dalefolk listed (what’s the link between them)? Who wrote the list, and why was it stashed in the tree? Who was intended to find and presumably act on it, and why? Questions for the Knights to ponder . . .



So saith Ed. Looking at this, I’d say he’s chosen a “quiet time” (in terms of subplots): relatively quiet probably because we Knights weren’t yet generating much in the way of subplots of our own, by pursuing our own interests and agendas. Once we started doing that, life became a whirlwind of “not enough time” and “let’s DO it!” and “Now - - strike now, before they - -” and Ed sitting there grinning while we took over and truly became the heroes, imposing our wills on the Realms rather than reacting to what he threw at us.
Ed probably chose this quiet moment purely for reasons of brevity.
Erik, can you see why this would make fascinating episodic soap opera but an “impossible” FR novel? Arlenion, these are rather simple subplots, so they should be readily adaptable for any campaign. I noticed none of them is one of Ed’s trademark “big, ongoing mysteries,” so be sure to concoct one of those, too.
love to all,
THO
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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2005 :  10:03:46  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Hi again, fellow scribes. Here’s the second half of Ed’s reply (the subplots examples), and words from him to Asgetrion, too.
As the Bearded Creator mentioned in his last post, he’s going to fall silent for a few days (though I’m guessing he’ll sneak one more reply to me, on the proverbial way out the door), travelling, and then of course promptly fall silent again for GenCon Indy (followed swiftly by the Canadian National Gaming Expo in Toronto). Ah, well, we can’t have him ALL to ourselves!
Here’s Ed:

[...]

love to all,
THO


This is simple? I won`t even try to imagine what it`s like when Ed REALLY goes for it.



EDIT: To save scroll space, I've removed the majority of THO's quoted post.

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy

Edited by - The Sage on 10 Aug 2005 14:30:42
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31687 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2005 :  14:36:26  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
Fellow scribes, please note the changes I just made to Khorne's post above.

It is not necessary to quote a lengthy reply from Ed when your reply immediately follows it. This fills the scroll with repetitive chatter which can prove quite distracting for those reading this scroll. Keeping this practice in mind will help to keep this scroll neat and tidy.

Happy posting .

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage

Edited by - The Sage on 10 Aug 2005 14:38:37
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khorne
Master of Realmslore

Finland
1071 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2005 :  15:27:01  Show Profile  Visit khorne's Homepage  Click to see khorne's MSN Messenger address Send khorne a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Sage

Fellow scribes, please note the changes I just made to Khorne's post above.

It is not necessary to quote a lengthy reply from Ed when your reply immediately follows it. This fills the scroll with repetitive chatter which can prove quite distracting for those reading this scroll. Keeping this practice in mind will help to keep this scroll neat and tidy.

Happy posting .


I hear and obey.

If I were a ranger, I would pick NDA for my favorite enemy
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Jamallo Kreen
Master of Realmslore

USA
1537 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2005 :  19:55:43  Show Profile  Visit Jamallo Kreen's Homepage Send Jamallo Kreen a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Awww, Wooly, you edited out the stirring library stuff before Ed (the librarian, remember?) could see it! (Sniff)
I'm desolated . . .
love?
THO



I think I can avoid Wolly's wrath by justing posting "the stirring library stuff." As I recall, the climax of the post was something on the order of, "Fight on ye librarians! Defend us from the manxome villains. Be ye one with Giles and Cadderly and Ed in warding us from the foemen!" Or something to that effect.

I have a question regarding The Simbul's Synostrodweomer (sp?) Was that a player-researched spell originally? (Which leads to the related question of how many, if any, of the Seven Sisters were originally PCs?)

I have a mouth, but I am in a library and must not scream.


Feed the poor and stroke your ego, too: http://www.freerice.com/index.php.

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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
4768 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2005 :  00:45:41  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message
None of the Seven Sisters or Elminster or Khelben or anyone other than members of the Knights of Myth Drannor or the Company of Crazed Venturers (and not even some of them - Dove and Islif to name but two), were ever PCs. Ever.

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Arlenion
Seeker

36 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2005 :  01:47:04  Show Profile  Visit Arlenion's Homepage Send Arlenion a Private Message
Thank you for the plots, they were exactly what I was looking for!

Edited by - Arlenion on 11 Aug 2005 01:48:56
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The Hooded One
Lady Herald of Realmslore

5037 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2005 :  03:35:11  Show Profile  Visit The Hooded One's Homepage Send The Hooded One a Private Message
Hello all. I bring Ed’s last reply for a couple of days (probably until Saturday night), this one only the beginnings of a reply to Jamallo Kreen about “the classics” of Torilian literature:



Ah, a truly wonderful question. And one that will take me some time to answer properly. I’ll begin with a proverbial “librarian’s answer.”
What’s considered “classic” literature varies widely from time to time (once Bulwer-Lytton and Kipling were both considered towering writers in the English canon; both have faded, poor old B-L to laughingstock status) and place to place (sf fans revere writers “mainstream” critics have never even heard of, or dismiss as genre hacks churning out that “spaceship robot raygun stuff,” and conversely, an sf fan who tackles a “serious,” critically-acclaimed mainstream book is often incredulous at the self-indulgent, largely plotless “writing about nothing” that the latter tome contains).
So remember, as my father used to triple pun: “One man’s Mede is another man’s poisson.” :}
This holds true in the Realms as in real life.
There are “popular” books of lasting appeal, popular books that are fads that fade, and books and writers esteemed on the Sword Coast north of the Calimshan - Tethyr border that are unknown around the Shining Sea, and vice versa.
With that said, it’s important to remember that sages’ histories are revered as journals of record, and witty or poetic prose is highly valued in fiction books, because “the power of the plain tale” (the good snappy story told in a real-world bar or at a party or around a campfire) is practised and polished daily (or rather nightly) by minstrels and bards in taverns and clubs and inns across Faerûn.
Yes, yes, Ed, get on with it (I hear you snarl :}).
Right. So bearing in mind that what I say here is dated the moment I say it, and that this is an incomplete answer largely valid only for the Heartlands, among “the wide weal” (i.e. I’m not restricting myself to readers of a particular faith, or class such as the nobility), I’ll begin by listing just a few of the most highly-regarded tomes:

SEVENTY STIRRING STORIES by Russtur Malivar (many editions, often retold and abridged; a compilation of tavern-tales of romance, monster-fighting, high adventure, and revenge from the Sword Coast North).

THE TARGE by Lady Sarandra Shaelewinter (several editions; the author’s name is a pseudonym for a now-dead noblewoman of Waterdeep; romantic, uplifting tales - - mainly intended for a female audience, but beloved by those who love romance and lovingly-described dalliance - - that all drive home moral points: good always gets its just reward, wickedness and folly are aptly “rewarded,” and so on; “improving” literature for young ladies, but rescued from being pedantic and dull by the romantic writing).

TAL TESSORAN, Or: A LIFE WELL LIVED by Roadrante Haltivur (scandalously explicit [yes, we would call it pornographic] and considered far too “naughty” for polite discussion and being read in public, either aloud or to oneself but where others can identify its title; female author now living in hiding under an assumed name after being badgered with offers of marriage and love affairs and priests offering to “redeem” her, to say nothing of men wanting to “properly chastise” her; a stirring epic of a devastatingly handsome, well-meaning swordsman-hero who wenches his way across Faerûn while defeating evil wizards and growling monsters; powerfully written and VERY popular, although most folk keep their copies hidden under their pillows for private reading; even if the sexual passages are skipped, the writing is colourful and the adventures dashing).

SHIELDS AFLAME: A HISTORY OF KINGS AND BATTLES OF THE NORTH by Murtrosz Ondibran (small, thick, often split in its bindings and put into a box or tied together with cord, to keep it all together; often reprinted in identical format to its original edition, by one printer in Athkatla who claims (on the flyleaf) to bring down a “dark curse” on anyone else who makes copies of it; the most authoritative and interestingly-written of many sagely histories of the Sword Coast North, much consulted in the way we would consult a “dictionary of royalty and battles.” Its brief entries are entertainingly written, and the book can serve in the way many religious texts are: as “dip into” reading, one or two entries per evening, for discussion or reflection or just day-dreaming.

ARAUNTRIL: LADY DEATH, LADY FLAME by Sarkoarvhan Dhurr (a tremendously-popular epic of a sword-wielding sorceress, telling the fictional career of a beautiful, wanton, evil-hearted, sharp-tongued wily lass who sleeps and tricks and boldly fights and acrobatically tumbles her way from lover to lover and fortune to fortune; neither explicit nor particularly leering, mentioning sex in a matter-of-fact or humorous way; very popular because Arauntril’s dupes and victims are caricatures of mankind everywhere, and she exploits their foibles in amusing ways that can win fresh guffaws when read aloud in kitchens to folk who’ve heard all the scenes before. Arauntril has a caustic wit - - which she uses on herself when she makes mistakes or does stupid things - - and the author, a mild-mannered and shy clerk of Tethyr, poured out all his frustrations at cruel and pompous masters and clients when depicting the men Arauntril bests. Someone else [anonymous] wrote a hard-to-find (and so very expensive) sequel, ARAUNTRIL SCOURGED, which does delve into the pornographic. On every page. Although Dhurr was very upset by its publication, he’s said to have loved it when he read it, and most folk who’ve managed to do so are unwilling to part with their copies: not only are its sex scenes highly memorable, it makes sharp and explicit comment on real rulers, realms, customs, and other writers, in ways dubbed “wincingly accurate” by Alaphondar of Cormyr).



These are by no means all of the “classics,” nor is my answer complete. I’ll try to return to this topic before GenCon, but if not, will revisit it later (no new hours are being poured into any given day of my life, I’m afraid).

Oh, and Arlenion: you’re very welcome. My pleasure. I forgot to mention one thing: all ambitious and / or adventurer NPCs should be generating subplots of their own, so you know what they’re up to while the PCs are busy (inevitably the PCs will find out about some of these, sometimes misinterpreting them and jumping in, with wild results).



So saith Ed. Who will return when he can; he’s one exhausted puppy right now, believe me.
love to all,
THO
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Lemernis
Senior Scribe

378 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2005 :  13:24:14  Show Profile  Visit Lemernis's Homepage Send Lemernis a Private Message
First a thank you to Ed for answering my question about his views on the level of magic in Faerun some pages back. Extremely helpful. :)

I've another question for Ed. This one regards the pace of cognitive/emotional/ego development for the elves of the Forgotten Realms.

The question is: How mature (i.e., in terms of reasoning ability, emotionally, and ego functioning) would a 20 year old elf be compared with a 20 year old human?

I realize there some variation according to subraces, but let's take your garden variety elf from Coarmanthyr as an example.

According to The Complete Book of Elves, youthful elves tend to behave impulsively, and elves will continue to behave childishly until approx. 65-75 years of age. That source also states that elves typically do not exceed 4 ft in height by that age. Then around the age of 75 they experience a adolescent growth spurt and reach a height of 5 to 5 1/2 feet.

So according to that core source a 20 year old elf would be comparatively 'delayed' in contrast with a 20 year old human. By this standard a 40 year old elf, for example, would be in an adult body but behave in a childlike manner compared with a human.

Yet in Cormanthyr, Empire of the Elves, there is a section called "Teaching" which to me suggests that the rate at which elves mature in the Forgotten Realms may be more of a cultural matter. That source states that elves are regarded (by their elders) as children untl the age of 60, and that they are considered "impressionable" by their elders until the age of 50. Until around 50 the focus is almost entirely on education. At the age of 50 they may begin pursuing a profession.

But by the same token, they are are typically reading and writing before the age of 10. So according to that standard elves mature at least cognitively at a pace on par with humans. Whether they do so emotionally and in terms of their ability to control their impulses, and reflect before they act, etc., it does not say.

I'm wondering if the relatively 'sheltered' existence of an elf of Cormanthyr for the first six decades of life is mostly an elven cultural thing, and perhaps not as much matter of maturing at a slower rate biologically, or developing at a slower rate cognitively and emotionally as the Complete Book of Elves has it. By the standards of their longevity, the elves of Semberholme do not consider their kind to be adults until around 60 (? or at least finished with their basic education about the world and elven history and ready to pursue a sort of apprenticeship their chosen profession). But that is because they enjoy a far longer time in which to educate their young. Elves have a different standard, culturally, by which to measure wisdom. "Impressionable" has a rather different meaning for someone who lives for 900 years compared with someone with a lifespan of 90 years. Here "impressionable" is not equivalent to a forty year old elf thinking and behaving like a twelve year old human.

Apologies for writing such a lonwinded question. To restate: Is a 20 year old elf from Cormanthyr roughly on par with a 20 year old human in terms of his basic adult functioning, i.e., powers of logic and reasoning, emotional maturity, capacity for reflection, ability to control impulses, etc.? Or would that elf behave like a five year old human?
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Erik Scott de Bie
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
4586 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2005 :  20:15:14  Show Profile  Visit Erik Scott de Bie's Homepage  Send Erik Scott de Bie an AOL message Send Erik Scott de Bie a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by The Hooded One

Erik, can you see why this would make fascinating episodic soap opera but an “impossible” FR novel? Arlenion, these are rather simple subplots, so they should be readily adaptable for any campaign. I noticed none of them is one of Ed’s trademark “big, ongoing mysteries,” so be sure to concoct one of those, too.
love to all,
THO




Oh aye. My head started to ache just reading it. Much like one of my own campaigns, but containing MUCH more.

My campaigns often turned into "intrigue for an hour or so, then kill everything in sight, damn the consequences!" fests -- much against my will, mind.

Cheers

Erik Scott de Bie

'Tis easier to destroy than to create.

Signature of Shameless Self-Promotion +6: Order my sixth novel, Shadow of the Winter King (Amazon, e-signing, Dragonmoon Press)

Also check out my Realms work, most recently Shadowbane: Eye of Justice, out now on e-readers everywhere! (Kindle, Nook)
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Scarabeus
Seeker

Canada
27 Posts

Posted - 12 Aug 2005 :  04:43:24  Show Profile  Visit Scarabeus's Homepage  Click to see Scarabeus's MSN Messenger address Send Scarabeus a Private Message
Hi Everyone! My first post on this forum. I don't usually like forums but this one is an amazing vault of knowledge wich is well worth the old dusty tome that gave at the entry gate.

Greetings mr Greenwood, I would like to have further details about the original spellsinger character class you made for the Realms.
Knowing about your fondness for music and the rich amount of details that you put in your work, none of the published spellsigner classes seem to be near of what you created. I once worked on a legendary Elven Spellsinger character class (a la Elfsong) but it does not seem to be the original spellsinger. I've read your post about spellsingers in 2004 and it stirred within me the desire to learn more. Code of Harpers, Deities & Demigods (Eilistraee), Wizard & Rogues and Races of Faerun have some bits of information as well as a Mintiper (sp?) article in Dragon Magazine. I'm wondering now, how does all of that fit together ?
Call you tell us more about how the original spellsingers used to cast spells, or spellsongs ?
I would also like to know more about the valantra life style and whereabouts. Thanks in advance.
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